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Tag: Amazon

Amazon’s Ring doorbell sends customer’s personal data to Facebook and Google


The Electronic Frontier Foundation found the Ring app was “packed” with third-party tracking, sending out customers’ personally identifiable information.

Five companies were receiving a range of information, including names, IP addresses and mobile networks, it said.

Ring said it limited the amount of data it shared.

The company told Gizmodo: “Like many companies, Ring uses third-party service providers to evaluate the use of our mobile app, which helps us improve features, optimise the customer experience and evaluate the effectiveness of our marketing.”

But the EFF said Ring was failing to protect users’ privacy, noting only one of the trackers it had found was mentioned in the company’s privacy policy.

The Amazon-owned Ring doorbell is a privacy and security nightmare

Ring is acting like my stubborn Cairn Terrier when she wants her own way. This is blatant and wilful ignorance. Turning a blind eye. Hoping it will just go away and no one will notice. Without thought of the consequences.

» If someone logs into your Ring account, Ring does nothing »

  • Ring does not send the owner an email warning you about an unknown.
  • Ring does not keep a record of the intrusion.

Joseph Cox, Vice’s Motherboard »

From across the other side of the world, a colleague has just accessed my Ring account, and in turn, a live-feed of a Ring camera in my apartment. He sent a screenshot of me stretching, getting ready for work. Then a second colleague accessed the camera from another country, and started talking to me through the Ring device.

“Joe can you tell I’m watching you type,” they added in a Slack message. The blue light which signals someone is watching the camera feed faded away. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling of someone may be tuning in. I went into another room.

My colleagues were only able to access my Ring camera because they had the relevant email address and password, but Amazon-owned home security company Ring is not doing enough to stop hackers breaking into customer accounts, and in turn, their cameras, according to multiple cybersecurity experts, people who write tools to break into accounts, and Motherboard’s own analysis with a Ring camera it bought to test the company’s security protections.

Related » Ring passwords have been found on the dark web (TechCrunch)

More » CNET

Amazon Prime Video app not available on app stores in Canada or USA (Updated)

Updated » The Amazon Prime Video app is back in Apple’s app stores.

As at Friday afternoon, the Amazon Prime Video app could not be found in Apple’s app stores, both in Canada and the USA.

Mike Wuerthele, Apple Insider »

At about 11:00 A.M. Eastern Time, the Amazon Prime Video app was no longer discoverable in a search on the App Store. However, the App Store page still existed at 11:32 for the application, including information around Thursday’s update to the app. At 11:42, the page was made unavailable.

More » TechCrunch, MobileSyrup, Variety

I can confirm that the Amazon Prime Video app was not available in Canada on Friday afternoon.  However, Apple TV and other video platforms were presented when I search Apple’s App Store for “Amazon Prime Video.”

Amazon Alexa wants to follow you everywhere

Samuel Gibbs at The Guardian writes »

Amazon wants its Alexa voice assistant to leave the home and be with you everywhere you go, and is turning to wearable technology to achieve this.

Unveiled at an event in Seattle on Wednesday, Amazon’s new Echo Frames smart glasses, Echo Loop ring and Echo Buds aim to put Alexa on your face, your hand or in your ears.

The $179.99 (£146) Echo Frames are equipped with directional speakers similar to the Bose Frames smart glasses, and have microphones for Alexa, which connects to a phone to read out emails, text messages and other information. The smart glasses do not have a display or camera – seeking to avoid the stigma associated with Google’s Glass – but can be equipped with prescription lenses.

There’s more »

Google Assistant will help you apply for a job

I’m interested to see how many other companies will use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in this and similar ways.

Ben Schoon at 9to5Google writes »

“Apply Thru” helps people take the first step in applying to work at the massive fast-food chain. In the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., users can simply say “Hey Google, talk to McDonald’s Apply Thru.” Over time, the company says that “Hey Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s” will also work.

Once the app has been opened, it will ask the applicant for a few basic bits of information such as their name, job preferences, a phone number, and also their location to find the nearest restaurant. Once those steps have been completed, a text message will be sent to finish the application.

McDonald’s “Apply Thru” is available on Google Assistant via your smartphone, a Google Home speaker or smart display, and also the iOS app.

Read more »

More » ABC News, Engadget, The Telegraph, The Verge, FastCompany

Amazon’s favourite new word is ‘Privacy,’ but do they know what it means?

Amazon today rolled out a marathon of products at its fall 2019 devices event. Privacy was mentioned throughout the presentation. Amazon is acutely aware that a large segment of consumers are troubled by Amazon’s personal invasions and lack of transparency.

Dell Cameron at Gizmodo writes »

Today, so-called “privacy” policies are little more than legal disclosures vaguely articulating the numerous ways in which companies, like Amazon, intend to track their customers and gather their personal information

If privacy is dead, we can thank Amazon (among plenty of other companies, of course) for helping arrange its demise.

and »

An in-depth investigation by Bloomberg in April revealed that thousands of human beings were listening to recordings of Alexa users in an attempt to improve its performance. Naturally, the company hid this from everyone, burying the language about it deep in its service terms—which, let’s be honest, no has the time to read.

The company fessed up but also attempted to downplay the invasion…

and »

Privacy advocates have basically given up on Amazon, believing that its promises about protecting its customers are too little and too late. Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, said in a statement that the company simply cannot be trusted.

“Amazon claims ‘customers control their data’ yet they had plans for 911 calls to trigger all Ring cameras in the surrounding neighborhood to wake up and start recording,” she said. “This is what Amazon does. They make empty statements to sell their products and then continue to build a for-profit, surveillance dragnet without oversight and accountability.”

Read the whole article at Gizmodo »

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos vows Amazon will be carbon neutral by 2040

After revealing that Amazon has a carbon footprint that rivals that of a small country, CEO Jeff Bezos vowed to reduce the damage to the planet by cutting its use of fossil fuels.

Bezos’ ambitious plan commits the online shopping giant to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. He revealed the company has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian as part of that plan.

Bezos projected that 80% of Amazon’s energy use will come from renewable sources by 2024, and that Amazon commits to net zero carbon by 2040, and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Amazon will also invest US$100 million in reforestation projects around the world to begin removing carbon from the atmosphere.

The announcement was made on Thursday, September 19, on the eve of the worldwide ‘Fridays For Future’ protest.

More at CNBC, CBC, NYTimes, The Verge, TechCrunch, Axios, Engadget, FastCompany, Reuters, Vox / Recode, Gizmodo

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